Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fast Facts Redux: Matt Kenseth

Kenseth in victory lane at the Sprint Unlimited - Feb. 14, 2015
credit: Getty Images for NASCAR/Jerry Markland
A few things have changed since Skirts & Scuffs first profiled Matt Kenseth, winner of the 2015 Sprint Unlimited, in Oct. 2011. First, he won a second Daytona 500 in 2012; second, he switched teams in 2013, leaving Roush Fenway Racing for the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry at Joe Gibbs Racing; and third, he had a career-best seven-win season after joining JGR in 2013. See if anything else has changed for this Wisconsin driver in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Matthew Roy Kenseth was born March 10, 1972 in Cambridge, Wisconsin. He began racing stock cars at age 16 at Madison (Wisconsin) International Speedway in 1988. After racing and winning titles at numerous area short tracks, Kenseth moved south in 1996 to run in the Hooters Late Model Series; he finished third in the points chase as a rookie.
  • In 1997, when his driver Tim Bender was injured, Busch Series (now Xfinity) car owner Robbie Reiser, a former rival of Kenseth’s on the mid-west short tracks, hired Kenseth as a replacement. In 1998, the pair won their first race in the series.
  • Kenseth made his Cup Series debut in 1998 at Dover, subbing for Bill Elliott, who was attending his father’s funeral; he finished sixth. In 2000, Kenseth, Reiser and their entire team joined Roush Racing (now Roush Fenway Racing) in the Cup Series; Kenseth beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the Rookie of the Year title.
  • In 2003, Kenseth became the final “Winston Cup” champion, only the second Wisconsin native to win the title (Alan Kulwicki won in 1992). In 2004, Kenseth won the International Race of Champions (IROC) title.
  • Kenseth is a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 (2009 and 2012) and the 2015 winner of the Sprint Unlimited, both at Daytona International Speedway; he also has two Budweiser Duel wins (2012 and 2014) at Daytona. He won the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte in 2000 as a rookie, and in 2004 won the All-Star Race at Charlotte; he is also a winner of the Southern 500 at Darlington (2013).
  • Entering the 2015 season – his third with JGR – Kenseth has 31 Cup Series wins (24 with RFR and seven with JGR) and 29 Xfinity Series wins, including three with JGR. In addition to his 2003 championship, Kenseth finished second in points in 2006 and 2013.
  • Kenseth married the former Katie Martin in 2000; he has a son, Ross, from a previous relationship, and he and Katie are parents to Kaylin Nicola and Grace Katherine. Ross made his ARCA Racing Series debut in 2013 and competed in the CRA Super Series in 2014.
  • Find out more about Matt Kenseth at www.mattkenseth.com


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